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Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2012 New York Auto Show in New York City.
Smart ForTwo electric
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Smart-fortwo-electric-pr-f
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What is it? Smart claims an electric version of their diminutive two-seat will get 100 miles on a charge, 20 more than then electric version of the tiny Smart ca 100 mile range, which is 20 mpg more than the claimed range of its closest competitor, the four-seat Mitsubishi i. The electric Smart is powered by a 17.6 kwh lithium-ion battery and a 73-hp electric motor, which gives it acceleration on par with the gas-powered Smart and a top speed of 83 mph. Perhaps best of all, it avoids the gas Smart’s herky-jerky single-clutch automated manual transmission. With its electric motor, it gets by with a single-gear transmission. Even for reverse, the motor simply switches rotation. 

What is new or notable? 
Smart is the first company to offer consumers a choice of a gas engine or electric drivetrain in all its models, including the coupe and convertible. Coupes with either powertrain are also available with either a solid or transparent plexiglass roof. 

CR’s take: 
While the electric version solves the worst flaw of the gas Smart, we can’t come up with a reason you should buy either one. The gas model is not that cheap, fun-to-drive or even that fuel-efficient for its size. And when we drove an earlier version of the electric model, we found it surprisingly noisy and slow for an electric car.

When will it be available? 
May 2012

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